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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

THE CHEQUE TAX                131

depreciation of the buying power of the penny and
to be fully warranted by the country's circumstances.
Either it will bring in revenue or it will save the
Post Office labour, and whichever of these objects
is achieved will increase the country's power to
continue the war. The extra penny stamp on
cheques has been rather absurdly objected to as
being likely to increase inflation. Since the effect
of it is likely to be that people will draw a smaller
number of small cheques, and will make a larger
number of their purchases by means of Treasury
notes, the tax will merely result in the substitution
of one form of currency for another^ and it is difficult
to see how this process will in any way increase
inflation. Other arguments might be adduced,
which make it undesirable to increase the outstand-
ing amounts of Treasury notes, but in the matter of
inflation through addition to paper currency, it
seems to me that the proposed tax is entirely blame*
less. The increase of a shilling in income tax and
super-tax produced a feeling of relief in the City,
being considerably lower than had been anticipated.
It is hardly the business of the Chancellor of the
Exchequer in this most serious crisis to produce
feelings of relief among the taxpayers, and it seems
to me a great pity that he did not make much freer
use of these most equitable forms of taxation, having
first made arrangements (which could easily have
been done) by which their very severe pressure
would have been relieved upon those who have
families to bring up. Death duties, again, he alto-
gether omitted as a source of extra revenue, His